Friday, March 30, 2007

comment support added to converter

I know I said yesterday that you'd have to wait 'til next week for comment conversion support, but I decided to deliver a special treat for the weekend. The online and Yahoo! Widget versions of Code Converter now support comment conversion for both VB to C# and C# to VB conversions. Visit the Code Converter today and give the new feature a try.

So what next? Do you want the option to view converted code with syntax highlighting? Do you want the Google Desktop or Windows Sidebar widget? Help us continue to enhance the Code Converter service by visiting the official Code Converter forum on and leave your feedback. We'll spend the most energy on the features you most request.

code converter updated

The recently released Code Converter web site has been updated! Here's a list of the improvements you'll find in this update:

  • Fixed RequestValidation errors (you can now convert "< >" code in peace)
  • Added cookie support for Converter settings
    • Remembers "Tab Key" setting
    • Remembers conversion method setting
  • Fixed Tab Key support
    • Allows you to enable/disable tab key in code entry textbox
    • Fixed JavaScript error being created by TabExtender (what's this? You'll find out soon...)
  • Added obligatory FavIcon to site
Hopefully these improvements will make the Code Converter even more useful in your daily coding lives. The next improvement to come should be comment conversion support (I know you all want it and I know NRefactory supports it). Watch for that update next week. Now have some fun and go convert some code!

P.S. Can you do P.S. in blogs? Well I will. The Yahoo! Widgets Code Converter has been approved and is now in the Yahoo! Widgets Gallery. Download the widget here and bring the convenience of the Code Converter to your desktop.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

ajax manager WebCast huge success! (update 2)

Thank you to everyone who was able to join us for the WebCast today! It was massively successful (but we already knew it would be, right?) with well over 500 simultaneous participants at its peak. In fact, there were so many people that joined that we really began to tax the Microsoft Live Meeting streaming server and many of you ran into audio problems as a result.

Well have no fear. You won't miss a thing. Joe Stagner will be posting the recorded version of today's live WebCast on his blog early next week and I have a special pre-recorded version of today's WebCast available for you now! That's right, for those of you who move at the speed of business and can't wait for next week's recording, check out my pre-recorded version on today (PowerPoint slides from today's WebCast are available there, too).

Based on the success of today's event, we'll probably try to arrange another "Live from Redmond" WebCast with Joe soon. Watch my blog for details and in the mean time enjoy the WebCasts!

UPDATE: Well, the popularity of this content has not stopped. I think we have blown through my allotted bandwidth on, so I'm scrambling to get more bandwidth. If you're having trouble watching this WebCast, check back soon and I'll post an update when more bandwidth is available.

UPDATE 2: I'm still working with Screencast on the bandwidth issues, but in the mean time you can access the live recorded version of this WebCast on Microsoft's website. Check out this new post for all the details.

new WebCast: Orcas Extension Methods and RadControls

For those of you who didn't manage to get in to today's live WebCast and who are still looking for something to watch, I've just posted a new WebCast that shows you how you can use the new Extension Methods found in Visual Studio "Orcas" with RadControls. My goal was to make the WebCast "short", but 40 minutes later it is anything but. Feel free to skip along if you can't take my "enthusiastic" presentation of the basics, but for those willing to watch it all here's what you'll get:

  • An overview of Visual Studio "Orcas" Extension Methods
  • Live demo showing how to convert a simple PostBack app to an Ajax app in 2 seconds with RadAjax
  • Live demo showing how to use extension methods to extend RadAjax to automatically enable/disable Ajax based on browser
  • Live demo showing how to use extension methods to extend RadMenu to add easy web.config Skin support at the control level
  • My unmatched enthusiasm for RadControls and ASP.NET
I hope to make more WebCasts like this available to you in the near future. I'll try to keep them under the 30 minute mark going forward, but cut me some slack on my early foray into this new medium. Enjoy the WebCast and be sure to let me know if there is anything else you want to see "live"!

View the high quality WebCast

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ajax Manager WebCast full!

Well that didn't take long. After announcing late last week the WebCast that I'll be doing with Microsoft this Thursday (in which I'll be demoing Telerik's new Ajax Manager for ASP.NET AJAX for the first time publicly), the event registration is already full. I want to thank everyone who has registered for this event for already making it a huge success and for showing such eager interest in seeing what Telerik is doing with ASP.NET AJAX. I hope promise you'll like what you see.

For everyone who wasn't able to register for the event before it filled-up, I have some good news. The entire Live Meeting WebCast will be available on the Microsoft website next week for your on demand viewing pleasure. Joe Stagner, the Microsoft host for this event, will post a link on his blog when the video is available and I'll of course pass the news along to you here.

I look forward to virtually seeing you all in a couple of days and to brining you more events like this in the future!

Monday, March 26, 2007

ajax papers: part II

After a much longer delay that I had hoped would separate installments, part two of my multi-part series on Ajax is finally live. In part one, we looked at the basics of Ajax and examined at a low level how Ajax communicates asynchronously with a server. In this installment, we look at how you handle an Ajax response to modify the browser DOM and update a page (we also look at a couple of "gotchas" that come into play when updating a page after an Ajax callback).

When you're done with this installment, you'll have a firm grasp (if you didn't before) on how Ajax communicates with the server and how it updates the page. While Ajax libraries like RadAjax and ASP.NET Ajax usually remove the need for us to understand Ajax at this low, JavaScript level, understanding what the frameworks do under the hood should make us all more capable of writing fast and efficient Ajax applications.

And don't miss the PDF version of the article for the best reading experience. The blogs are (unfortunately) still running an old version of Community Server, so the formatting of the online posts isn't great (I've left the "Trivia" sections out of the online post altogether). Hopefully I'll be able to deliver better online viewing experiences in the future, but for now the PDF is the best looking copy.

Enjoy the article and watch for part three in about a week.

Friday, March 23, 2007

announcing new code converter

If you work with ASP.NET, chances are there have been times when you need to convert a snippet of VB to C# or vice versa. I recently was shocked to discover that no code conversion widgets existed for any of the major widget tools on the market. That's right. Nobody has created a C# to VB and back again converter for Konfabulator Yahoo! Widgets or Windows Sidebar or Google Desktop. Until now.

In collaboration with some of the guys on the dev teams at Telerik, I have started to fill the gap. Today I am announcing the launch of two new free services: Code Converter for Yahoo! Widgets and These tools provide easy, clutter- and ad-free C# to VB and VB to C# code conversions. Both are still in "beta", so be sure to share your feedback so that we can improve the tools (a forum will be created on to facilitate feedback soon).

We are using the open source NRefactory conversion engine to perform our conversions, so your results will be accurate and among the best available on the web. In a few days, I will provide a chart that compares the features of the major online code converters and you'll be able to easily see how we're improving this basic tool for the community. My goal is to provide best free online C#/VB code converter and a comprehensive set of widgets that give you desktop access to the service in Yahoo! Widgets (released today), Google Desktop, and Windows Sidebar.

So help spread the word about these new tools and let us know what you think. With your feedback, I believe we can create the best free code converter on web and the desktop.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Ajax Manager sneak preview

Join me next week on Thursday, March 29th for a live WebCast where I will be demoing the new Telerik Ajax Manager for ASP.NET AJAX. The WebCast is part of the "Live from Redmond" series being run by Joe Stagner, a Program Manager on the Microsoft Web Community team. To register for the event, visit this site and complete Microsoft's Online Event Registration.

During the WebCast I'll be building Telerik's new Help Desk application live. We'll use a handful of Telerik controls to assemble the demo and then we'll use the new Ajax Manager to ajaxify the application without writing a single line of code! This will be the first public demo of the new Ajax Manager, so you'll definitely want to catch this WebCast to be among the first to see the magic Telerik is working with the new ASP.NET AJAX integration. The Ajax Manager will be officially released in the Q1 2007 release, due towards the end of April.

So spread the news, register for the event, and join me at 11:00 AM CST next Thursday for the show.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

impact of OpenAJAX Alliance and Microsoft announcement

This week Scott Guthrie announced on his blog that Microsoft joined the OpenAJAX Alliance. The OpenAJAX Alliance is an industry group made up of over 70 members that include such heavy weights as Google, Adobe, IBM, Sun, and now Microsoft. The aim of the group is not to create the one standard Ajax implementation, but rather to provide a forum for ensuring all major Ajax frameworks can at least "play nice" together.

Microsoft's decision to join this group has several important impacts on ASP.NET AJAX:

  1. First, it signals that Microsoft is going above and beyond to ensure that their Ajax implementation is compatible with as many other Ajax products as possible (a nice change from the "old days" of proprietary Microsoft approaches to web technologies).
  2. Second, it gives ASP.NET AJAX added favor in the eyes of businesses evaluating different Ajax frameworks. Knowing that ASP.NET Ajax has agreed to conform to certain industry standards will make many large companies more comfortable with using Microsoft's framework without worrying about getting locked-in to proprietary Microsoft "standards".
  3. Finally, this move further underscores ASP.NET Ajax's position as the Ajax framework for future .NET development. Businesses will become increasingly reluctant to adopt a framework that doesn't have the OpenAJAX Alliance seal of approval, meaning .NET component vendors will face a choice: drop proprietary Ajax frameworks and start building everything on ASP.NET Ajax or join OpenAJAX and certify your own Ajax framework.
Component vendors already seem to be seem be choosing sides on the third point. ComponentArt's current suite is built entirely on ASP.NET Ajax, Infragistics is moving off of their proprietary Ajax framework to ASP.NET Ajax later this year, and Telerik has already announced several new controls for Q1 (such as RadColorpicker and RadSlider) that will be built on Microsoft's Ajax instead of RadAjax. It seems that in a years time, most proprietary .NET Ajax frameworks will fade away as ASP.NET Ajax assumes its natural role in the .NET framework.

squishing radControls

This month Telerik announced a formal partnership with froglogic, the maker of a powerful GUI testing platform called Squish. Squish for Web enables developers to easily create automated cross-browser GUI tests for their Ajax enabled applications. The Squish IDE provides tools that allow you to easily record all actions made while interacting with a site and then define specific "verification points" to validate that the GUI is working as expected. The easiest way to understand the Squish for Web software is to checkout this brief screencast.

For their part in this partnership, froglogic will provide full support for building tests with RadControls and Squish. Anyone looking for a robust solution for testing their web app's Telerik powered GUI should definitely take advantage of this partnership and request a Squish evaluation today. Squish for Web runs 1,600 EUR (or about $2,100 USD) for the Basic edition and 2,400 EUR (or about $3,200 USD) for the Pro edition. Not cheap, but worth it if you want automated GUI testing.

Firefox and Ajax

About three weeks ago I commented on Mozilla's "minor" update to Firefox that among other things caused the browser to completely change the way it executed dynamically loaded client scripts. This change created a few issues for RadAjax and ASP.NET Ajax since both frameworks depended on the old timing of the Firefox script execution. Telerik was able to release a fix for the issue in the Q4 2006 Service Pack 2, but Microsoft did not have the luxury of responding so quickly.

Luckily for Microsoft (and many other broken Ajax frameworks), Mozilla acknowledged the trouble they created and fixed the issue in yesterday's Firefox update. All dynamically loaded scripts will now execute as they used to in Firefox

For those that are curious, Telerik's RadAjax patch in SP2 changed this line:

AjaxNS.FireOnResponseEnd(instance, eventTarget, eventArgument);

To this:

//Firefox hack
//we "eval" the event raise code, so that it gets queued and executed
//*after* all scripts have been evaled
window.AjaxOnResponseEnd = function()
AjaxNS.FireOnResponseEnd(instance, eventTarget, eventArgument);
window.AjaxOnResponseEnd = null;

Needless to say, to provide guaranteed compatibility for all users this hack will probably be around for a while (thanks Mozilla...). Nonetheless, your RadAjax applications should continue to work normally in Firefox

Thursday, March 15, 2007

telerik giving away 50" plasma

If you've ever needed a reason to spend some time with a new technology on the weekend, this is it. Telerik is following up their successful "Win a Trip to Hawaii" contest with this new "Win a 50-inch Plasma TV" contest. What do you have to do to enter for a chance to win? Glad you asked.

Just visit the contest page on and click "Enter the contest now". You'll be presented with a brief survey (really, it's more like a quiz) that asks you about different features of the Telerik RadControls for WinForms. All you have to do is download the WinForms trial, have fun checking out Telerik's WPF-like WinForms controls, and then answer a few questions.

Your odds at winning this big screen are much better than winning the lottery, so stop scratching that ticket and start downloading the RadControls for WinForms. Even if you don't win the big prize, the first 50 people to get all 10 questions right get a $20 gift card to Amazon. So get going. The people who stopped reading this at "Win a 50-inch plasma" have a head start on you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

new RadControl pricing announced

Back in January, I brought your attention to some quiet news on the website regarding changes to the pricing for RadControls for ASP.NET and WinForms. We now have official clarification on the upcoming pricing changes thanks to a recent blog post from Telerik Co-CEO Vassil Terziev.

For the full details about how the licensing and pricing are changing, I encourage you to read Vassil's post. In it he spells out all of the changes to licenses and pricing, and he answers a handful of questions I sent him last week regarding this new information. For those that don't want to read, here is the bottom line (or rather, bottom lines):

  • If you own a RadControls subscription license by April 20th, you get RadControls for ASP.NET, RadControls for WinForms, and Telerik Reporting and all their updates until your current subscription expires
  • When it comes time to renew, you can pick the subscription level you want to renew for the next year. To keep all of the controls and reporting, your early renewal will be $649 (just $150 more than the current $499 renewal).
So if you want to get all that Telerik has to offer next year for the current RadControls subscription price, you need to buy or renew your subscription by April 20th. If your subscription is still 2 or 3 months away from expiring, you may want to renew in early April to lock-in a year's worth of updates at the current pricing. At the end of the day, Telerik is going to be delivering some incredible updates to all control suites in 2007 so no matter when or how you pay for your subscription, you're still getting one of the best values in .NET components available.

Telerik on WPF

A couple of weeks ago, Hristo Kosev posted some information on the blogs about Telerik's plans for WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation, formerly Avalon). WPF, for those that don't know, is Microsoft's new presentation architecture for Windows. It is based on a new XML-like coding language called XAML (pronounced "zamel") and it represents the foundation that next generation application interfaces will be built upon. It was originally only going to be made available in Windows Vista, but Microsoft decided to backport WPF to XP in .NET 3.0 so that application developers could widely distribute their WPF apps.

Back to Telerik. It has been announced that Telerik will ship a CTP of their WPF controls late this year (no details on what those controls will be). Since WPF is likely to be the standard Windows UI architecture for some years to come (GDI only survived 17 years!), Telerik does not want to rush WPF components to market. Rather, when the controls are released in early 2008 you'll get industry leading WPF implementations that you can count on for years to come.

In the mean time, Teleirk has built its own WPF-like WinForms presentation architecture that allows you to create dynamic, visually stunning applications. So even though you're going to have to wait for Telerik quality WPF controls, you can start building Telerik quality WinForms applications today. Now if only there were some news on Telerik's plans for WPF/e... :)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

the ajax papers

I'll try to keep the self promotion of my new blog on to a dull roar on Telerik Watch, but in its infancy I want to make sure everyone has a chance to add it to their feed readers. Today I posted the first of a multi-part series on Ajax that will cover everything from Ajax basics to advanced Ajax optimization techniques. Today's installment gets you started with the basics, covering in detail how Ajax works so that you know what radAjax and ASP.NET AJAX are doing auto-magically for you.

The blog post is available online on and it is also downloadable as a PDF. The PDF version allows more formatting control, so if you have trouble reading the online version be sure the check out the PDF. Even if you think you know everything about Ajax basics, you'll want to give this article a read as it is spiced with Ajax trivia throughout. Do you know what the JavaScript "===" compare operator means? Do you know which version of MSXML is most widely distributed? Guess you'll have to read the article to find out.

vote now, 2007 asp.netPRO readers' choice awards

It's that time of year again. The voting for the 2007 asp.netPRO Readers' Choice awards is officially open and Telerik is nominated for a host of awards. The Readers' Choice awards are among the most coveted in the ASP.NET industry due to their popularity and meaning. To win an asp.netPRO award means that the ASP.NET community thinks you're the best among your peers, not some editors in a back room vote.

Telerik is nominated for the following awards this year:

  • Best Charting and Graphics Tool: radChart
  • Best Component Set: radControls
  • Best Content Management System: Sitefinity
  • Best Grid: radGrid
  • Best Navigational Control: radMenu
  • Best Online Editor: radEditor
  • Best Scheduling/Calendar Tool: radCalendar
  • Best Utility: radSpell
Last year Telerik won Best Grid and Best Online Editor and received runner-up awards in all other categories. If you enjoy your radControls, help Telerik beat last year's performance by voting today. Results will be announced in June. And don't forget to pick the radControls as the 2007 Product of the Year!

Vote in 2007 Readers' Choice Awards Now

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Telerik Watch is burning!

I don't do these "administration" posts often (in fact, I think this is the first), but I felt I should bring your attention to some changes that have recently been made to Telerik Watch.

Since Telerik Watch began in November, I have been using Blogger's basic tools to syndicate and publish content. Blogger's tools are very helpful (especially in the "new" Blogger), but they do have many weaknesses, particularly when it comes to tracking your blog's readership. Because of those limits, I have always syndicated partial posts in Telerik Watch's RSS and Atom feeds.

Based on some very valuable feedback, I've decided to change that practice. If you subscribe to the new FeedBurner powered Telerik Watch RSS feed, you will get full Telerik Watch posts in your RSS readers and news aggregaters. I've also added several additional features to Telerik Watch to help you get the site's content when are where you want it. You can now quickly add Telerik Watch to your Google Homepage, Newsgator, or some other reader of your choice using the buttons on the right hand side of the page. You can also subscribe to Telerik Watch via email to get daily email updates whenever new content is posted.

Hopefully these changes will make it easier for you to catch the latest from this blog. Now, back to your regularly scheduled techie content...

Monday, March 05, 2007

first look: telerik radControls in Orcas

After completing the massive Visual Studio "Orcas" March CTP download and unpacking the VirtualPC image, I decided to put Orcas through its paces with the Q4 2006 SP1 r.a.d.controls for ASP.NET.

Understandably, the current r.a.d.controls installer does not add the r.a.d.controls to the Visual Studio Toolbox, so to begin we needed to add the r.a.d.controls to the toolbox manually. Once that was complete, we could easily drag and drop our r.a.d.controls onto the page. At first glance, the Q4 controls seem to work fine in the new IDE. Even the new Split view seemed to work flawlessly with the controls and their Visual Studio SmartTags.

The real test I was after, though, was to see how well Visual Studio's new JavaScript IntelliSense feature worked with r.a.d.control client-side code. Unfortunately, I ran into a number of problems (with Visual Studio, not the r.a.d.controls) getting IntelliSense to work. It appears something about my Virtual PC image of the March CTP did not work well because I ran into lots of "TypeLibBuilder Errors" whenever I tried to add client libraries to a page. In fact, I couldn't get any custom libraries to work with the client code IntelliSense without getting a TypeLibBuilder Error. Bummer.
Other than that, though, the r.a.d.controls seem to be ready to embrace the new Visual Studio version. Check out my full screenshot gallery of the new Visual Studio Orcas test to see everything in action. The gallery has 33 screenshots of the new Visual Studio version, all with captions. Enjoy!

View Orcas screenshot gallery now

Friday, March 02, 2007

Firefox and Ajax

You may have seen scattered reports across the web that the latest Firefox update has created more problems than it has solved. Whether that is true or not, one thing is certain: the latest Firefox update has dramatically changed how dynamically loaded client scripts are executed in the browser. These changes are creating a lot of headaches for Ajax frameworks that are now suddenly finding their dynamically loaded scripts firing at the wrong time.

This problem affected the r.a.d.ajax framework, but today's service pack corrected all of the reported problems in Telerik's Ajax implementation. This problem has also reportedly affected the Microsoft ASP.NET AJAX framework. Unfortunately, Microsoft is not able to release a service pack for ASP.NET AJAX as quickly as Telerik can, so they are currently "working with the Firefox team" to find a way to fix their framework.

What's the take away from this issue? If you use r.a.d.ajax you should look into promoting SP2 to production as soon as possible to address any problem FF has created for your users. Firefox's uncharacteristic faux pas just goes to show that there is no such thing as a "minor" software update...

View Bugzilla report for this problem

Q4 2006 SP2 released!

As predicted early this week, the Q4 2006 SP2 has been officially released. This service pack is big even as big service packs go. Before you rush out and install the SP, though, be aware that this service pack introduces breaking changes for r.a.d.chart. The charting engine in r.a.d.chart is about to do double triple duty as it finds its way into the soon to be released Telerik Reporting and Telerik's new WinForms products. In order to accommodate these new environments, many of the classes in r.a.d.chart have been moved to a new Telerik.Charting namespace (still in the RadChart assembly). Make sure you add references to the new namespace on any page or control that has a chart.

With that warning out of the way, let's look at some of the cool things in this update:

  • r.a.d.ajax "flickering" issues with Firefox have been fixed
    • See this announcement for details on the trouble Mozilla created with their "minor" update to Firefox last week.
  • Over 15 fixes and improvements for r.a.d.calendar
  • Secondary Y-axis support added to chart
    • That should make the breaking changes worth the trouble, right?
  • New ShowDropDownOnTextBoxClick property for combobox
  • Many critical fixes for r.a.d.editor including fixed AjaxSpellCheck behavior and display
  • r.a.d.grid received tons of updates
    • 24 bugs addressed
    • 11 new features added, including 7 new client-side events that give you control over grid expanding and collapsing
  • Support for HierarchalDataSource added to menu, tabstrip, panelbar, and treeview
  • New documentation and examples for r.a.d.upload
Phew...that's a lot and I've only highlighted some of the updates. Check out the full release notes to see everything that has changed and then download your copy of the Service Pack. Breaking changes aside, this is definitely a service pack you want to apply right away.

VisualStudio "Orcas" March CTP available

For those of you who want to see what's next in the world of VisualStudio, check out the latest VisualStudio "Orcas" CTP. Orcas promises to bring major enhancements to everyone's favorite IDE, including improved design-time support for CSS, IntelliSense for JavaScript, and full built-in support for working with ASP.NET AJAX.

Scott Guthrie recently posted some screenshots of the next VisualStudio on his blog, along with a great set of slides that he presented at WebDD in the UK. Checkout his post to get an even better perspective about the changes coming in Orcas and how they'll help you develop more efficiently.

Among the many new features in the March CTP, I find these particularly exciting:

  • Full LINQ integration with C# and VB
  • New ASP.NET WebForms design-surface with advanced CSS features
  • JavaScript IntelliSense for ASP.NET AJAX and browser DOM
  • New WPF designer with XAML IntelliSense
  • New peer-to-peer networking APIs for adding collaboration features to apps
Download the 7 part self-extracting EXE or download the 7 part Virtual PC Image today to start playing with the future of VisualStudio. If this is your first time with the Orcas CTPs (and you're going the recommended VPC route), you'll first need to download a 1.1 GB base image and then about 4.5 GB of additional files. So maybe you'll be playing with the CTP tomorrow...

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Sitefinity 3.0 RC screenshots (part 1)

As you may recall, the Sitefinity 3.0 release candidates are now available for public download. Since I know many of you are still new to the Sitefinity scene and many more of you are still wondering what Sitefinity is all about, I've decided to create a few screenshot galleries that walk you through the entire CMS application. These galleries will help you understand what Sitefinity is, how you use it, and how it may be the missing CMS tool in your life.

The first gallery has 42 pics (all with descriptions, so I'll keep this post short) and it shows you everything from installation to a basic overview of creating a new Sitefinity project (or site). A couple galleries will follow this one with pics that show more advanced stages of creating a new site and pics of the demo sites Telerik ships with Sitefinity 3.0.

For now, grab a drink and enjoy Sitefinity 3.0 RC in pictures.